Amazing Kids! Magazine

Hispanic Culture

By Sandra Medel, age 15, CA

 

I have been to many places and states throughout the years but by far my favorite place to visit is now Mexico. Visiting my grandparents in the small pueblo named Penjamo, Guanajuato where my mother and father grew up in this winter break was a fantastic experience. Spending the holidays in Mexico with my friends and family was an interesting experience because I got to learn more about my culture and traditions. I am now aware of where my family traditions come from and their meanings.

Mexico is a beautiful country and one of the main things I loved about it were the festivals and the huge parties named bailes in Spanish. In Mexico the bailes aren’t parties where an invitation by the host is needed to make them huge. The people attend the bailes to dance and to share a good time with their friends or families, filling the bailes with laughter and excitement.  Dancing Corridos, Cumbia and Norteña music and the way my body moved to a certain rhythm conveyed my pride of being a Latina.

Although the bailes are superb, the holidays are unforgettable. Christmas in Mexico isn’t the same as in America. In America the children receive presents from Santa Claus. In Mexico, Christmas is celebrated by knocking on people’s doors and collecting candy. Before receiving the candy, the homeowners present a baby Jesus they have on display. The person receiving the candy kisses the baby Jesus on the forehead and then receives the candy. The purpose of this is to honor Christmas day as the day of Jesus’s birth.

January 6th, el Dia de Reyes, is a special day in Mexico. This date marks the culmination of the twelve days of Christmas and commemorates the three men who traveled from afar bearing gifts for baby Jesus. The day is celebrated by having children place their shoe in their own living rooms and waking up the next morning to gifts and candy placed in their shoe. The candy is given by the three Reyes (kings). Christmas in America is celebrated in Mexico on the 6th of January, yet a bit differently.

Holiday celebrations are always astonishing in Mexico. The feasts are also an important role in Hispanic culture. Tamales, buñuelos, pozole, and ponche are the delicious different foods that make Christmas and New Year’s something to look forward to.

Going to Mexico from now on will always be something to look forward to. Hopefully every winter break that I visit I will learn something new about my ancestors’ traditions and how they have changed throughout the years.